Cheap labor. People who love you. Hiring family members for your business seems like a slam dunk. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It could go very, very wrong.

If you’ve ever started a company, you’ve probably at least considered hiring family. Just about everyone has a sibling, cousin, or nephew who needs a job – and may even have the skills to make it work.

In some cases when you hire family members, the arrangement can be fantastic. Not only are you working with someone you presumably have a deep personal connection with, but you’re helping a loved one and getting an opportunity to spend more time with them.

If it goes sour, all of a sudden you’re spending Thanksgiving with your spouse’s family and explaining to every nosy second cousin what went wrong.

This is so situational – and so controversial – it’s hard to say for sure what the best option is.

Before you make a decision about whether or not to hire family members, carefully think through the situation. Here’s a detailed analysis of the pros and cons to help you decide what’s best for your business.

The advantages when you hire family members.

A family member is always more invested in your success than a random stranger, no matter how carefully vetted they are. When you’re starting a small business from scratch, you want your employees to care as much about the idea as you do.

Someone who you’ve known for your entire life is also more willing to be honest with you.

It’s hard to give a new boss criticism, but a family member shouldn’t have a problem speaking up when they feel you’re leading the ship astray.

Anytime you’re growing a business, you need those working under you to give real feedback, not just what you want to hear. A strange face might be hesitant to share a conflicting opinion, but not your big sister who grew up giving you wedgies.

One huge benefit to hiring someone close to you is that they probably need less time to settle into the business. It often takes a few months for you to feel comfortable with a new coworker, but your family member should be able to dive into the culture a lot faster.

Author and speaker Kylie Travers has hired her sisters off and on since 2009 when she first started her business. She’s never had issues with working with them.

“My sisters and I think alike so it was easier having them work for me than trying to explain everything to others,” she said.

The disadvantages when you hire family members.

The biggest downside to hiring a loved one to help you with a business is the looming question of how it will affect your relationship.

It’s easy to imagine a scenario where you all end up millionaires sipping cocktails on a beach, but it’s just as likely you’ll end up bankrupt and out of business.

The fact is, most startups fail. If you’ve asked your cousin to quit his or her day job to help you with your dream, they might be resentful if it doesn’t work out.

This is even more concerning if they’ve invested their own money in the company. Do you want to be responsible for your loved one losing their house because they sunk their finances into your startup?

Doug Nordman, blogger at The Military Guide and angel investor said he doesn’t think it makes sense to hire family members. In general, he doesn’t believe they should work together.

“Spouses or siblings are not necessarily a deal-killer, but at best it’s neutral and it’s usually a negative,” he said.

Another issue is the possibility of having to reprimand or even fire your relative.

When you disagree with an employee, the incident stays at work. When you argue with a coworker who’s also your little brother, the quarrel can follow you to the family wedding the next day, or that holiday dinner six months from now.

How to make it work.

If you’re worried about potential problems but still want to hire family members to help with your startup business, it’s imperative to talk it through beforehand. Ask about their working style, any issues they’ve had in the past, and anything they’re worried about.

You can also establish some ground rules, such as no business talk during family events and no venting to outside family members about work conflicts. If the venture goes south, you don’t want to suddenly divide the family between the two of you.

Damien Peters has worked with his brother several times, but never for long durations. Though they’re close, Peters said they think too differently to work together on a permanent or full-time basis. While Peters said that plenty of family members have issues being colleagues, not every family needs to avoid doing so.

“If it makes sense for your skills and relationship, try it out temporarily and set boundaries upfront,” he said.

Before you hire your loved ones, consider working together on a temporary basis.

Agree that if either person wants to terminate the arrangement at the end of the trial period, they can do so without backlash. That way, you can experience what it’s like to work together but not be committed right off the bat.

In the end, you have to do what’s best for your business and your family relationships. You can’t get caught up in trying to force the situation if it’s just not working. With a little experimentation, you can figure out pretty quickly if it makes sense to hire family members for your business.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Want to make more money without the hassle of a second job? A little ingenuity can go a long way. You might be surprised at what’s available to you.

I became a fan of multiple streams of revenue ever since I started hating my one, single W-2 job.

Even with my emergency savings account, I detested the idea of one person or one entity dictating my cash flow.

If you’re like me, or simply want to make more money on the side, here are seven recommendations for you to increase your income without getting another job.

Update your W-4.

The only thing I detest more than relying on someone else for all my income is giving The United States Government an interest-free loan.

Can I get a “Hell yeah?”

I’m sure I heard something.

Too many of us give Uncle Sam too many interest-free loans between April 15th and April 15th year after year. The IRS reported that it refunded $125 billion in tax refunds last year in 2015 with an average refund of $3,120.

A great start to seeing more money in your budget without getting a second W-2 is to update your W-4. Increase the number of allowances you claim on your W-4 so that you owe or are owed near $0.

You’ll keep more of your paycheck each month, resulting in better cash flow. Sometimes that matters more than whether or not you get a tax refund.

Sell stuff.

Most of us have more stuff than we need. Try watching Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and tell me you don’t agree. Consequently, stores are bigger and cars are bigger and TVs are bigger, and everything is bigger.

Many of us have tools and exercise equipment we don’t use. We have clothes we bought a year ago that still have their tags.

Most of us have more gadgets than we know we have or need. When I got my first laptop, it was special. When we got our first iPad, it was special. For this article, I did a quick search, and my household of two has three laptops and two tablets. Laptops and tablets aren’t special anymore.

This overabundance is an opportunity to make money. All of these items, new and used, can be sold. You can sell used clothes on sites like Tradesy and Material World. Sell new clothes and gadgets on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Amazon.

Get a roommate.

A quarter of a million millennials live at home with their moms and dads. That sucks for them, but it’s an opportunity for you. If you have an extra-large closet, you can rent it to someone in need of independence. That may be an exaggeration, and it may be illegal, but you get my point.

People need a place to live and rent’s expensive. Having one or more roommates will either increase your income or decrease your expenses. Either way, you’ll have more money.

Airbnb.

If you don’t want a full-time roommate but have the space for an occasional guest, try Airbnb or competing marketplaces to make money on your extra space. Alternatives to Airbnb include VRBO, Tripping, and Couch Surfing.

After a vetting process, you can rent your extra space to travelers looking for a homier or a more affordable experience than a hotel. You can pick and choose what dates to rent your space, so you’re not constantly hosting. When you travel away from home, you can make money while you’re away.

This is a great way to make more money. And other areas of the sharing economy, including driving for rideshare businesses while you run errands, can be a good way to make a few extra bucks.

Blog.

My name is John Schneider and I’m a blogger. You should be a blogger, too. I think most people could make money blogging about their expertise, their hobby, or whatever they want.

I think most people could make money blogging about their expertise, their hobby, or whatever they want.

When you start a blog and create a following, your site traffic is money. You can monetize your site with affiliate advertising, such as Google Adsense, and Amazon.com affiliate codes. You can add particular affiliates that are appropriate for your particular niche. You can even sell your products and services.

If you make art, design clothes, are into woodworking, or do any number of creative things, you can monetize your hobby and sell your creations in a store on your website. If you already have a hobby, you may as well make money doing it.

Take surveys.

Data is king in these days of statistics and algorithms. Businesses and organizations want to know more things about more stuff.

Use their piqued interests to make top dollar. Rather than scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, go to sites like My Survey, Swagbucks, and others to earn money taking surveys.

Write a book.

This suggestion may be another version of monetizing a hobby, but Les Brown says that the graveyard is filled with a library of unwritten books.

With sites such as Smashwords and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, it’s never been easier to publish a book. If you’re already writing or want to be a writer, publish your book.

Granted, for every story you read about a self-published author who rakes in $500,000 a year, there are thousands of stories of self-published authors who make nothing.

As a self-published author of three books, I know from experience that it isn’t easy. There is a social strategy, though, to get one book in front of a lot of people or gain a following by self-publishing books regularly.

As co-blogger Miranda Marquit would caution, don’t self-publish a book through a company that needs an unreasonable amount of money from you first.

If you’re already writing or want to be a writer, you may as well try to earn some money. If nothing else, you can tell your next date that you’re a published author.

These are just seven ways to have a second, third, or fourth income without needing an equal number of jobs. It just takes a little creative thinking. Hopefully one of more of these ideas will help you increase your income or, at least, inspire ideas of your own to make more money.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

O.K. That seems a little crazy. But does it really matter how messed up it is if you make some extra money?

Whether you want to pay off debt, save for a new car or travel around the world, one of the best ways to fulfill your financial goals is to earn more money.

But if you’ve asked for a raise or tried to look for a new job without success, it might be time to start a side hustle.

A side hustle can help you earn money while allowing you to maintain your regular job. Plus, many of these gigs have flexible hours so you can work around the schedule you have at your real job.

If you need more money, you can ramp up the work. If you want to take a break, you can do that too.

And if you’re ready to make bank, you might be surprised at how many strange niches you can fill. Here are some of the weird side gigs you can do and still make decent money:

Give plasma.

I started selling my plasma in college when I was a senior.

Graduation was near, and I needed money so I could afford to stay in town while doing an unpaid internship.

It was easy work. Lay down, get poked with a needle and sit for an hour while the machines collect your plasma. The room was cold, and even though I never did anything productive while I was in the chair, I made decent money.

Most plasma centers offer between $20 and $50 per donation and some even provide bonuses if you come at least a certain amount per month. They usually require that you weigh at least 110 pounds and have no major health issues.

Sell used underwear.

Ever have a pair of used panties that you throw away because they’re too small or because they have holes in them?

Instead of tossing those undies, try selling them online. There’s a huge market for used underwear.

It’s true.

Costs can range from $30 to $75 depending on the type of underwear, how long you’ve worn it and whether you’re willing to include photos of you wearing it. Some girls buy briefs in bulk so they can maximize their profit.

Everyone has their thing. If you aren’t creeped out at the thought of someone drooling over your undies, this can be a legit way to make money.

Yard sales.

When was the last time you went to a yard sale? If you’ve been to one recently, you were probably looking for something you could buy for yourself. But some people go to yard sales to shop for items they can resell elsewhere.

It might seem like a little bit normal in terms of other weird side gigs you could be doing, but going to yard sales as a business can still raise a few eyebrows.

Your possible profit depends on what you find, the condition it’s in, if you can fix it, and what it’s worth now. Finding a Waterford crystal vase is unlikely, but you can score some kid’s football gear that can be resold.

Rent out a room on Airbnb.

Many people have made renting out their house on Airbnb a successful side hustle. But most do it when they’re on vacation or if they move out.

What about renting out a room while you live there?

It seems a little weird to let strangers hang with you while you’re at home, but it’s a way you can make money all the time — not just when you’re out of town.

Having a boarder was common a few decades ago, when being single meant you couldn’t afford a whole apartment or house. Nowadays, you can rent out a spare room, air mattress, or couch on Airbnb and similar sites.

Depending on your location, city, and amenities, you can make more than $100 a night.

Not bad for one of those weird side gigs that requires you to entertain complete strangers.

Thumbtack.

Everyone has a skill. Some people like dog sitting, others are champion green thumbs. No matter what you specialize in, you can find a gig on Thumbtack.

Thumbtack is a hub for anyone peddling a skill. My husband found his piano teacher on Thumbtack by posting what he was looking for. I found suggestions for house cleaners.

To start working, you have to create a profile and respond to jobs when they’re posted.

It can be hard to get started if you have no reviews, so I recommend charging low prices until you get a few solid testimonials. It sucks, but you can start raising your prices as soon as you are recognized as an expert.

Online surveys.

This option is best if you work at a job with computer access and lots of downtime, or if you want something to do at home besides browse Netflix.

I did this while I was paying off my student loans until I found more profitable freelance work.

I used a Reddit forum to find the best surveys, usually $1 for a few minutes. This sounds paltry, and it was. But there are no requirements for startup money, no huge time sink, and no restrictions.

According to Amazon’s reports, I made $242 in 2012. If you work a job where you have lots of downtime and computer access, it’s not a bad way to earn a few bucks.

Plus, there are ways to make even more if you join a site like Inspired Opinions. Sometimes, you can qualify to take part in focus groups for $50 to $75 an hour.

Sell advertising space on your car.

Ever seen those cars with tacky ads plastered all over them?

Well, some of those are business owners trying to drive their brands, but sometimes it’s regular people trying to make a buck. Carvertise is one startup that pairs companies with eligible drivers.

In the realm of weird side gigs, this one can be a bit taxing. After all, your car is an extension of who you are. It’s hard to plaster it with ads.

You have to be at least 21, drive 800 miles a month, and have a 2005 car or newer. According to the FAQ, you could make $100 a month.

That’s not bad, for just doing what you normally do around town.

What other interesting ways have you heard of to make money? Let us know about your favorite weird side gigs in the comments, or by visiting the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents and The Teenpreneur Conference shares how being an entrepreneur while in school gives you valuable skills.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents and The Teenpreneur Conference join Harlan and Miranda today to talk about the experience of being an entrepreneur while in high school and/or college, and why entrepreneurship is an important piece of educational development.

Watch the live video above or listen to just the podcast audio by using the player below.

Hosted byMiranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Trying to figure out what to sell online? An online sales business can change your lifestyle.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Today, Harlan and Miranda are joined by Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job. On this episode of Adulting.tv LIVE! we will discuss finding the best product to start an e-commerce business. Selling products online can be a great way to earn a living.

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. He currently works for a startup company in the Silicon Valley.

Watch the video above or listen to just the audio by using the player below.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Hustle Away Debt strikes a good balance, and the author shares what he learned from experience.

Over the next several months, I’ll be reading and reviewing a number of books that can help you with your finances, career, work/life balance, and all the facets of life that comprise #adulting. Welcome to the Books for Adults series.

While I’m not 100% on board with the self-improvement genre and gurus as gospel, I do believe that they offer some insights or tricks to make life easier or provide a “hey, I never thought of it that way” moment.

Up first for review is Hustle Away Debt: Eliminate Your Debt by Making More Money by David Carlson. David is the founder of Young Adult Money, and the book (and the site) is a result of the approach he and his wife took to pay off their massive student loan debt. He maintains that it’s not always possible to cut expenses but it is always possible to earn more money.

This extra money, derived from side hustling, is what you can use to ramp up your debt repayment or savings.

However, this isn’t just a “you need to side hustle” book. For those who’ve already decided they want to, or those who are on the fence, it reads like a comprehensive handbook or manual. Not only does the book provide an objective view of side hustling, covering both the pros and cons as well as dozens of easy to implement ideas, it provides a roadmap for how to start a side hustle.

The author guides you, step by step, even giving helpful information and instruction on the back-end tasks like taxes, improving your 9-to-5 performance, and seizing opportunity.

For those who are overwhelmed by the idea of a side hustle, this book breaks it down into small, simple steps. You can probably start a side job doing something you’re already doing!

But he also recognizes that having a side hustle isn’t for everyone and asks that you look at your motivations and circumstances for starting one. You might realize it’s not a good fit and that’s fine.

While the book comprehensively looks at both sides of side hustling, the best part is David’s tone. He strikes a balance between motivation and encouragement without making the reader feel like having a side hustle is something they absolutely, 100% need to do; he admits there are benefits to a full-time job that a side job cannot provide.

For the reader who doesn’t want to surrender working full-time, that’s helpful to hear. Beyond that, David asks the reader to look at their finances. Rather than berate or condescend to the reader who might be in debt, he accepts that it’s a fact for many people, including him and his wife, and provides a plan for taking control of their money that doesn’t involve selling everything they own, giving up their Dunkin Donuts coffee, or living a spartan existence.

Books like this, when they’re derived from personal experience, provide more value to the reader than books from experts who’ve never been there. There’s a level of understanding and practicality that you don’t always find, especially when you feel like the author is talking to you instead of at you and with a tone that doesn’t insult your intelligence.

These are the important Adulting takeaways.

  • Before starting your side hustle, define your “why.” Without your “why,” it’s almost impossible to sustain.
  • It’s possible to turn anything into a side hustle, even if you’re stuck at a desk 40 hours per week, if you use a little creativity.
  • Side hustles provide diversified income, can help protect your finances in the event of a job loss, and can help you get ahead.
  • A side hustle does not have to convert to a full-time job; in fact, there are benefits to a full-time job a side gig cannot provide.
  • There are tangible and intangible benefits to side hustling including time management, learning to prioritize, and skill building.
  • Look at all facets of your circumstances (for example, time, relationships, employment, finances) before deciding to side hustle then determine what kind you should implement.
  • Side hustles do not have to be permanent. They can provide a temporary boost in income for debt or savings and, once you’ve achieved those goals, you can let the side hustle go.
David Carlson

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Time doesn’t just show up for free. If you want time for your side hustle, you have to make it.

I hear this all the time:

“I really want to start a side hustle, but I don’t have time.”

It’s true that some of us really don’t have time for side gigs. After all, we’re busy people. We have real jobs and families and a desire to, at some point, to live a little.

But you might be surprised at how much time you do have. Here are some strategies to use to make time for a side hustle:

Track your time use.

The first thing to do is track your time use.

When I feel like I am running out of time, I start tracking my time use. Usually, the problem is that I’ve let unimportant things creep into my life, or I get distracted.

Keep a diary of what you are doing, and how long you spend doing it. You might be surprised at the patterns that emerge.

According to the American Time Use Survey, adults spend close to three hours a day watching TV. I’m always surprised when I track my online activities and discover how much time I spend just surfing.

If you want to make time for a side hustle, start with how you’re using your time now to see where you might find a place to cut back on some of your unnecessary activities.

Schedule side hustle time.

So often, we don’t make time for a side hustle. Instead, we say we’ll do it when we have time. Just waiting to see if the time appears is a surefire strategy to ensure that you’ll never have time for a side hustle.

You’ll increase your chances of having time for a side gig if you actually schedule the time. Wake up a little earlier. Instead of watching TV for two hours in the evening, schedule an hour and a half to work on the side gig.

Think of where you can carve out time during the day to dedicate to your side hustle and schedule it into your day.

Use the weekend.

I know, I know. We all love our weekends. It’s a break from work. However, if you want to make time for a side hustle, you need to give something up.

You don’t have to use the whole weekend for your side hustle, but it can be a good time to get something done with your side gig.

When I have things I want to do, I try to work on them during Saturday morning. My son has his own extracurricular activity and it’s a perfect time for me to hit something hard while I don’t have other obligations.

Figure out what works best for you. Saturday morning? Sunday afternoon? Whatever. The weekend is the perfect time to … make time for a side hustle.

Schedule a workcation.

Consider your real job. Do you get time off for vacation? If you want to make time for a side hustle, you can kick it off with a workcation. Take a vacation with your day job, and use it to work on your side hustle.

When you don’t have to focus on your regular job, you have a little more time to work on a side gig.

Of course, you can’t be constantly taking time off to make time for your side hustle. However, you can get a lot of good value out of a bit of time off to really dig into the side hustle.

A workcation can also help when you aren’t taking time off your regular job. When my son sleeps over at a friend’s house, I sometimes book a room at a local hotel. That change of scene for one night and the next morning really helps me focus. There’s something about getting out of the routine that provides you with a chance to work on a side hustle.

It’s totally worth it to get a hotel room for one night if that helps you focus up.

Ask for help.

Do you have a support system? If so, ask for help. Sometimes, when I need a little more time to work on my projects, I get help from my parents, or from my sister, in taking my son for a couple hours while I really get down to it.

We help each other.

Look around to see if you have a support system that can help. You might even have a life partner who can help you out.

I know a couple who helps each other with these gigs. They saved up an emergency fund. Then, he kept working while she worked to make her side gig a full-time reality. After a while, she gained traction. However, she wouldn’t have had time for the side gig without the full buy-in of her partner. He helped make it possible for her first reduce her hours at work, and then quit altogether.

If you can get help from your support system, it’s a little easier to make time for a side hustle.

Bottom line.

We all have challenges. I know I don’t do as much as I would like in a lot of areas. However, part of that is because I don’t make time. Use one or all of these strategies, and you might be surprised to see that you have more time available than you thought.

Are you working on a side hustle? When do you work on it? What’s your best way to make it happen? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook or leave a comment here.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!